World news

Interview: Daniel Diker

By Paul Berger, March 31, 2011

Jewish organisations in the diaspora have the right to criticise Israel in all respects except one - national security.

So says Daniel Diker, the secretary-general designate of the World Jewish Congress.

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Our Johannesburg boycott 'not academic'

By Jennifer Lipman, March 31, 2011

The vice-chancellor of the University of Johannesburg (UJ) has denied that his university supports an academic boycott of Israel, despite announcing earlier this week that it is severing ties with its longtime Israeli partner, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU).

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Righteous honour for 13 Poles who helped Jews

By Nissan Tzur, March 31, 2011

In a ceremony held in Warsaw last week, the Israeli ambassador to Poland, Zvi Rav-Ner, decorated 13 Poles for aiding Jews during the Nazi occupation.

Poland holds the highest number of Righteous Among the Nations awards in the world, with over 6,200 citizens honoured.

Among those decorated was Bronislawa Ogoniewska from the city of Stanislawow, who helped hide 32 Jews from the Nazis.

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Cash-launder Syrian rabbi comes clean in court

By Ellen Tumposky, March 31, 2011

An elderly and prominent Syrian rabbi from Brooklyn has pleaded guilty to laundering tens of thousands of dollars through a religious charity.

Saul Kassin, 89, rabbi of Congregation Sharee Zion in Brooklyn, the largest Syrian Sephardic synagogue in the US, confessed his crime to a federal court earlier this week.

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A water crisis on the way for Middle East

March 31, 2011

Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian environmentalists have warned that the region will face a water crisis unless there is more co-operation between the three countries.

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Jews, Muslims urge Sarkozy to drop Islam debate

By Jennifer Lipman, March 30, 2011

Jewish leaders in France have joined their Muslim, Christian and Buddhist counterparts to demand that President Nicholas Sarkozy should call off a contentious debate on Islam planned for next week.

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Thailand floods damage Koh Samui Jewish centre

By Jennifer Lipman, March 29, 2011

Days of intense rainfall have caused severe damage to a Jewish centre on Thailand's Koh Samui island.

The south of the country has been hit by unseasonably heavy downpours over the last five days, causing flooding and landslides on main roads. Thousands of tourists were left stranded after Koh Samui airport suspended flights and the ferry service to the mainland could not sail.

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Gandhi had Jewish architect lover, claims biographer

By Jennifer Lipman, March 28, 2011

A biographer of Mahatma Gandhi has claimed that the hero of Indian independence had a male Jewish partner who almost caused the break-up of his marriage.

In his book, Great Soul, former New York Times executive editor Joseph Lelyveld said Gandhi met German Jewish architect Hermann Kallenbach in 1908.

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Claims of Argentina-Iran deal on Jewish centre bombing case

By Jennifer Lipman, March 28, 2011

Israel has demanded a response from Argentina’s foreign minister to allegations that he agreed to abandon the investigation into Iran’s role in the deadly 1994 bombing of a Jewish centre, in return for favourable trade links.

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No shiva, but Jewish burial for Elizabeth Taylor

By Jennifer Lipman, March 25, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor kept within the faith she adopted, even at the end of her life. The actress, who died on Wednesday at the age of 79, was buried the next day in accordance with Jewish tradition.

The service was presided over by Rabbi Jerry Cutler, who also presided over the funerals of Shelley Winters and Walter Matthau.

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